Student goes from the football field to finance

Photo of Dewayne Washington courtesy of Kristian Delrosario.
By Ashley A. Williams

Photo of Dewayne Washington courtesy of Kristian Delrosario.

Student goes from the football field to finance

By Ashley A. Williams
For graduating senior Dewayne Washington, the immediate past chief of the Iron Arrow Honor Society, life was always about more than just football.

Dewayne Washington came to the University of Miami in fall 2016 seeking to join the Hurricanes football team. After watching ESPN’s, The U Part 2, he knew he wanted to be part of the program’s storied swagger.

Graduating at top of his high school class at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, Washington secured the premier Ronald A. Hammond Scholarship and walked on to the Hurricanes his first year.

However, it was in spring of 2017 that Washington, the Iron Arrow Honor Society’s immediate past chief, discovered a swagger of his own and left the field behind.

“UM had so much to offer me that I was not able to take advantage of it all,” said Washington, referring to the rigorous life of a student-athlete. “I felt like I wasn’t tapping into all of my abilities.”

The transition was a smooth one—thanks to Christopher Doell, director of programs of academic excellence in the Office of Academic Enhancement, and EllenMarie McPhillip, assistant dean of undergraduates in the Miami Herbert Business School.

“Football was my whole identity,” said Washington. “Both of them helped me navigate the process of leaving football and becoming a traditional student.”

Mark Shapiro, associate professor of professional practice in the business school, also played a significant role in his future. One day, while Citibank representatives were visiting campus, Shapiro encouraged Washington to attend their informational session. Six months later, he wound up interning for the company. Starting in June, Washington will be working full time with JP Morgan as a banking analyst in wealth management.

“He was the first person to introduce me to the world of banking,” said Washington. “I never even thought about banking. No one in my family was ever in banking. It never crossed my mind.”

Washington’s undergraduate experiences were varied. His junior year, he was a Student Government presidential candidate. The election cycle resulted in an unprecedented increase in voter turnout with more than 3,500 students casting their votes. Washington’s campaign, “The Switch Up,” ultimately lost by around 45 votes.

In spring 2019, he received the biggest surprise of his life when he was tapped into the highest honor society at the University—and ultimately becoming its chief.

“It was a starstruck moment in a way because I never thought that would happen to me,” he said of his induction into the Iron Arrow Honor Society. “It was a pretty special moment to be recognized for my contributions to the University.”

Washington said ending his four years abruptly because of the coronavirus pandemic has been bittersweet, and he will cherish the small, simple things most as he ventures into the next phase of his life.

“The truth is, I will miss wearing flip-flops every day, walking through campus, catching up with my friends, and just relaxing at The Rat,” said Washington. “Knowing that the rest of my life will be about business, those are the things that I’m really going to miss about UM.”